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Matthaus Wrongly Criticizes Nationalelf

Matthaus Criticizes German National Team With Days Remaining Before Tournament.

Lothar Matthaus spoke out on Germany’s squad just days before the opening day of the World Cup, and had very little praise for his national side.

Matthaus, who is Germany’s most capped player of all time with 150 caps, is a living legend of the game. Maradona said about Matthaus, ‘he is the best rival I’ve ever had. I guess that’s enough to define him.’ High praise, coming from the man many consider to be the greatest player of all time.

While Matthaus’ opinions must be respected and should not be taken for granted, some of what he says is just pessimistic. And right before the opening of the tournament, it’s not what Joachim Loew will want to be reading in the press, and it’s not something the players will appreciate either.

“Expectations are high in Germany, but other countries have caught up fast since 2006. Germany lack the brilliant individuals who can settle a match on their own, and that’s been obvious for some years now,”

Germany lack the brilliant individuals who can settle a match on their own? I beg to differ. Mesut Ozil may be young and widely unknown to many football fans, but he can easily be compared with Holland’s Wesley Sneijder or Brazil’s Robinho. He will produce this World Cup, and will most likely be in line for a major move to one of Europe’s elite clubs.

Marko Marin, also very young, is an explosive winger who can make the most out of very little. Time and again, during Germany’s friendlies leading up to this summer’s World Cup, he has shown what a difference he can make to the team’s attacking potential.

These two players are just a glimpse at what Germany will be bringing to the table this summer. If teams underestimate Germany because of injuries to Michael Ballack and Simon Rolfes and Rene Adler, then they will be reminded in full that this German side is still a force to be reckoned with.

“I have European champions Spain, Confederations Cup winners Brazil, and Argentina at the top of my list to lift the trophy. They can pick from the best players in the world. The Netherlands have great players too, but with the exception of 1974 and 1978, they’ve never really done well at the World Cup. There’s a tendency for their individuals to play to the gallery, and that affects their performance as a team.”

Matthaus’ point here is reasonable and should not be dismissed. Germany are not seen as one of the big favourites to win the tournament, and usually they are. In years past, Germany are always expected to reach the semi-finals. This time around, Germany are not expected to make the noise they usually do. Matthaus outlines the favourites in his quote, and Germany is not amongst them. Maybe, just this once, not being the favourites will work to Germany’s advantage. Usually, Germany know what is expected of them and feel the pressure to succeed at all times. This time, the expectations are maybe not as great, and so the pressure which must be so hard to play under isn’t there as much as usual. Germany, for once, are the dark horses. And Germany will show the world, like they have so many times before in this competition, why they can never be counted out.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Edwin

    June 8, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I am afraid that I will have to disagree once again. Werder Bremen have a very strong team whose standard is comparable to the Mannschaft. Frings is no worse than Schweinsteiger, at his age he is still considered world class (especially in the last few games of this season). Aaron Hunt has shown this season that he is an extremely talented and if he stays away from injuries he will have a big future ahead of him. Up front, Claudio Pizarro alone has scored many more goals than Klose, Gomez and Podolski combined this season. At the back, Tim Wiese is no worse than Neuer and is more experienced; Mertesacker and Naldo are a better pair than Mertesacker and Tasci.
    Marin and Ozil are just as heavily relied on as Pizarro, Frings and Mertesacker, Marin doesn’t even start all the matches for Bremen.

    • dylan thomas

      June 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm

      I still believe Ozil and Marin have it in them to turn a game on it’s head. If you compare Werder Bremen player for player, they’re not as strong a team as die Mannschaft clearly. While yes, they do have experienced players to shoulder responsibility, they aren’t the Nationalelf. Ozil and Marin, especially since they are still so young and rather unheard of, will make a big splash in this summer’s competition I believe. If they don’t, then Matthaus will have been right, and Germany will be sent home sooner than they will have hoped!

  2. Dylan Thomas

    June 8, 2010 at 1:51 am

    you could say that, but then at Werder Bremen Ozil and Marin aren’t surrounded by the types of players they will be playing alongside with Germany. They were very heavily relied on for their club, but at international level they’ll have Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Podolski, all there to shoulder some of that.

    • Edwin

      June 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

      I am sorry but I will have to disagree with you again. Werder Bremen have a squad whose standard is comparable to die Mannschaft. Frings is no worse than Schweinsteiger and he has shown (especially in the last few matches of the season) that at his age he is still world class. Aaron Hunt has also shown this season that he is an extremely talented player, and if he stays away from injuries he will have a bright future ahead of him. Up front, Claudio Pizarro has scored more goals than Klose, Gomez and Podolski combined this season. At the back, Tim Wiese is no worse than Neuer, and he is more experienced. Mertesacker and Naldo are definitely a better pair than Mertesacker and Tasci.
      Marin and Ozil are just as relied on as Frings, Pizarro, Mertesacker and Wiese, and Marin doesn’t even start all the matches for Bremen.

  3. Edwin

    June 8, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Marin and Ozil are good but not world class and cannot decide a game on their own. They are no Ribery and Robben, otherwise Werder Bremen would have done a lot better this season.

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